ADVOCACY:Snacking for a Good cause
Question: Where does a healthy smile start? Answer: In the kitchen.
The food we eat has the power to make or break a nice set of sparkly whites, therefore it is no surprise that diet and nutrition is one of the main issues that the American Dental Association advocates for. For quick reference the ADA encourages federal research on how diet effects oral health, ensures that federal education programs have an oral health component, develops consumer friendly nutrition labels, improves nutritional food profiles, and makes sure the dentist is educated.
This past month the nutrition label was brought to the advocacy forefront when FDA proposed that separate line be added to the nutrition label that states the added sugar content in the product. With this the FDA is also proposing to require a “percent daily value” declaration for the added sugar and setting this limit at no more than 10% of a daily caloric intake. This proposal is backed by the ADA as it fits with their goal of keeping diets balanced and poised for sound oral health.
As a dental student I have been given the opportunity to write my own oral health curriculum for preschool and school age children. When writing my lessons I always start with the “at home changes” that families and children can make. I firmly believe that small steps in the kitchen, at home make the biggest difference, even if the child never sets foot in a dental office. I think that this small change that is backed by the ADA will make a big difference for the oral health of Americans by keeping them informed about what they are consuming.
With that being said I also think that this small change also shows us the importance of the impact we, as a group can have. With this proposed change of a simple label backed by the ADA, an organization similar to our ASDA, hundreds of thousands of people’s lives will be affected in a positive manner. The main policies that ASDA advocates finds important are midlevel providers, live patient based exams, student debt, and much more! If you would like more information on the ADA’s policies please visit ada.org, on ASDA’s policies please visit asdanet.org, and (because I am a huge snacker/ food lover myself) here is one of my personal favorite healthy snack recipe websites: fitsugar.com/30-days-snacks-31026467.